Police’s plan to tackle Rotherham's electric scooter problem

Photo by Michel Grolet on UnsplashPhoto by Michel Grolet on Unsplash
Photo by Michel Grolet on Unsplash
SAFETY and education are at the heart of Rotherham police’s response to the rapid rise of electric scooters.

The vehicles are legal to own and use on private land but should not be used on public roads, pavements, bike lanes or pedestrianised areas.

Rotherham District Commander Chief Supt Laura Koscikiewicz said: “They are growing in popularity and we are developing our response to them.

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“Our Roads Policing Unit is doing a piece of work to train officers.

“It’s a developing area of business, with some of the case law starting to develop, too.

“Clearly, they are illegal to use on roads, footpaths and other public spaces. They are only for use on private land.”

There are no statistics for misuse of e-scooters in Rotherham as they are currently recorded as part of the wider vehicle crime category.

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But targeting and seizing ones which are being used illegally is being embedded within the Rotherham district’s regular Operation Alligator work.

Chief Supt Koscikiewicz added: “We are visiting stores such as Halfords to make them aware, so they make sure people who are buying e-scooters understand the legalities.

“We’re looking at going into schools, because we’re conscious that quite a lot of e-scooters are used by children, and there’s a safety consideration.

“E-scooters go quite fast and some kids don’t wear helmets. The safety concern there is massive.”

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There are parallels to the problems which arose from the rise of quad bikes in the 1990s — but e-scooters are appearing more often in public areas.

“When quad bikes came along, they tended to be used off-road anyway so it was a different sort of issue, although there was also a safety aspect,” said the district commander.

“E-scooters are affordable to a lot more people. They are a lot more accessible for a lot more children.

“But they are not something that we are getting regular calls about. It’s not something that’s seen a huge increase yet.”